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Army news service (April 10, 2006): USAREUR staff gets look at future of Army business.

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Army leaders in U.S. Army, Europe, were introduced to the future of doing business during a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) overview April 7.

LSS is a significant part of the Army's business transformation initiative. It supports improvements across all major commands and functions, and its goals are to win the long war while sustaining the all-volunteer force, accelerate the future combat force strategy, and accelerate business transformation and process improvement.

"Everything the Army does must align with the strategic goals as defined by the Army leadership," said Joseph W. Albright, director for Enterprise Solutions for the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army for Business Transformation.

Improving the way we do business

LSS is a synergy of two concepts that will be used to improve processes and transform business.

Lean is primarily concerned with eliminating waste and improving flow in business operations, according to Elizabeth Beatty, USAREUR G-8, Office of the Comptroller. Six Sigma is a method to reduce variance in the quality and speed of services and products.

The combined process encourages people to think critically about what they do and how they do it, Albright said.

USAREUR plays key roll in LSS

Michael A. Kirby, deputy under secretary of the Army for business transformation, described LSS as a tool to help get the right people on the right problems, with the right metrics and the right leadership to bring problems to a successful conclusion.

"Lean Six Sigma is a proven business practice to solve complex problems, breaking these problems down into discrete processes and focusing on end results," Kirby said.

"We are employing this to make the Army more capable of generating the combat power the nation requires," Kirby added. "USAREUR is a key part of this roll-out."

The near-term targeted processes that LSS will address include: property management, contracting, civilian human resources, military construction, reimbursable repair funding, information technology portfolio management, personal security investigations, planning and mobilization, military recruiting, and medical capabilities.

Leaders are committed to change through LSS

The LSS system is not new, said Beatty.

"It defines, measures, analyzes, improves, and controls any process yield by following a problem-solving approach using statistical tools," she explained. "Used together, they can result in significant cost avoidance and savings for any organization," she said.

"The methodologies have proven over the last 20 years that it is possible to achieve dramatic and positive results in cost, quality, and time by focusing on process improvement," Beatty said.

According to Albright, senior Army leadership is convinced of its worth and are hands-on involved and committed to change.

"We know the Army is effective--we win wars and get the job done," said Jack Van Den Beldt, USAREUR LSS deployment manager.

"Effective does not always mean efficient," Van Den Beldt said, "That is why we are introducing LSS, to become better stewards of taxpayer dollars."

As a practical example, Van Den Beldt said, 21 st Theater Support Command is evaluating the Humvee reset line at the General Support Center, Europe, to improve efficiency.

"I think the entire force needs to look at this as an opportunity for achieving efficiency in business," said Army Lt. Col. Dave Fulton, USAREUR G-1, Office of Personnel. "It's going to require professional development to develop a culture of continuous improvement."

Lean was developed by Toyota based on efficiency theories of statistician Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Six Sigma was developed by Motorola to reduce variance in quality and speed, said Beatty.

For more information visit the Army Continuous Process Improvement Web site at <>.
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Title Annotation:Conferences, Workshops & Symposia
Publication:Defense AT & L
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Previous Article:American Forces Press Service (April 4, 2006): military, industry must work together to win Long War, general says.
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